An ageing Saudi man has been in chains for nearly 42 years as his family decided to confine him to his room after suffering from mental illness, a newspaper in the Gulf Kingdom reported on Wednesday.
Mohammed Abdu Abu Al-Donia was nearly 30 years old when he started to suffer from memory loss and other mental problems, prompting his family to put steel chains on his legs to prevent him from leaving the room and hurting himself, the online Arabic language daily Alsaudi said.
“Mohammed is now above 70 years and the chains on his legs have completely rusted…even animals will not be able to stand such chains and such an isolated life,” the paper said in a report from a village in the southern province of Jazan.
“His sister and other relatives say the chains are needed to prevent him from hurting himself…Mohammed now looks very old and his eye sight is weakening but he can not go to hospital…he relieves himself on a rusting metal chair and is fed by his sister on his bed inside his room, which is his only world.”
The paper said the villagers sympathize with Mohammed and many of them remember when he was a normal person more than 40 years ago.
“No one knows how he lost his memory and what happened to him,” the paper said, quoting Ismail Jaaran, Mohammed’s neighbour.
“He has been ill for a very long time…he has been in those chains and in that room eversince…it is a very tragic scene indeed.”